Direct from the oven, you can hear the loaves crackle as they rest on a rack exuding a roasted caramel-like aroma. Our local pastor, with some soft, creamy butter, can easily enjoy a tasty loaf like this as his simple dinner. Even folks who are trying to lower their carbs and gluten intake are somewhat drawn to try this “real” bread.
The story of the devout vegetarian comes to mind, whom started eating meat again because he were able to buy direct from a friendly farmer. Obviously and rightfully so – a person against the methods of factory farming and industrial agriculture lives this way to follow their beliefs. But when the barriers to purity and nutrition are removed & access to the “good stuff” is available – one can again eat freely and be wholesome. All you need is good bread.
Artisan Sourdough Loaves
A single loaf can take 6, 12 or 18+ hours from starter to finish. But not all of that time is hands-on. Much of it is hands-off. Similar to a sustainable farmer, a baker is a facilitator. One nurtures the dough to develop by providing the right atmosphere and conditions for it to do it’s magic.
The hand-made and hands-off approach is what for me defines “artisan” here. And yes, I know the term “artisan” has been manipulated and watered-down by uninspired marketers from the industrial food complex. But that doesn’t stop me from using it in instances I know to be factual. Ingredients are key here. I’ve recently found out that I can buy organic local flour from Champlain Valley Milling at Green Goddess Foods in nearby Lake Placid. Having a consistent organic base to work from should produce a superior loaf and that will be crucial in expanding my operation in the future.
It’s tough to do right now in a home kitchen, but the real trick and experience will come when I have to make 20kg batches by hand. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around that one yet! Thankfully my mentor has some insight into this. I’m very grateful for the artisan bread class with Carl Shavitz that helped launch my passion:
All you need is good bread.
It’s so simple really. But we (the collective we) forget this all the time. Good bread can become the star and at minimum, the best supporting actor of any meal. And speaking of the best supporting actor category, I should also mention full fat raw milk butter here as well. But that will be discussed more in a future post!
Until then friends, eat freely and be wholesome…